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Publié par Patrick Granet

Iran, reporting intellectual 1978-2014

For giving birth to the Islamic Republic, the Iranian Revolution of 1979 was quickly stigmatized. Here, we argue that contrary to popular belief, the Iranian Revolution was in its genesis or Islamic or religious much less Khomeini. This, like all revolutions, was the work of a complex composed of actors, aspirations and conflicting ideas. After a slow process that had thickened with the waves of protest that went up and regrouped, they are increasingly important parts of the social body that gave him his power. While the Shia clergy, under the auspices of Khomeini knew better capture the momentum of the protest movement that social groups and competing political formations, whether secular Muslims, democrats or extreme left. But is that a reason to forget another present the history of the years 1978-1979? Reentered in the manner of Foucault, sheds light on this Iran from 2009 to today. And so that also our present.


File coordinated by Marie-Ladier Fouladi & Sophie Wahnich

incarnations sovereign


When Petion creates enthusiasm at the banquet in March 1792, he refuses to embody the expectation and gives a lesson in political theory: "Citizens [...] this is not a man you must swear loyalty is to the nation, it is the Constitution. "[16] The enthusiasm evoked, knotted at both worship Fallen Champ-de-Mars and the cult of life, should not become incarnate, set, identify a body, a leader . During the French Revolution, the temptation of identification does exist, but it is very long lived, from 1789 to 1794 as dangerous and presented as such in a complex pulsation of desire and discharges incarnation. But the Iranians make the revolution a struggle sovereign incarnations: expel the Shah, Khomeini worship. The need to refuse the incarnations of the ideal ran into a waiting incorporated upstream: the desire of the one who was to come. In the Iranian revolution lacks a lesson on the need to control identifications. Recent course give courage and strength to fight or believe, but can also switch to a desire for submission.

The ideal of freedom is soon to be incarnated in a body of fact, one of Khomeini. But Khomeini "embodied" in the full sense, and is not only a sensitive plate friable when he gives the definition of so little reassuring Islamic government to Foucault: "'These are the basic formulas of democracy, bourgeois or revolutionary (...) we have not ceased to repeat since the eighteenth century, and you know what they carried, "did I said, but I was told once" the Koran had set long before your philosophers and if Christian and industrial West has lost its meaning, Islam, it will preserve its value and effectiveness. '"[17]

The question is probably whether it is these formulas, or rather perversion, which under the influence of enthusiasm occur liability for a revered body, instead of enthusiasm for justice and law. "The Iranians when they risked their lives, they wrote their hunger, their humiliation, their hatred of the regime on the borders of heaven and earth in a dream story that was as much political as religious. (...) The imaginary contents of the revolt were not dispelled the great day of the revolution. They were immediately replicated on a political scene that seemed quite willing to receive them, but which was in fact any other kind. "[1

The figure of Khomeini and its uses in 1978 thereby creating the gap between the experience of the French Revolution and the Iranian experience.


When Foucault is accused afterwards of having supported the advent of the mullahs, he recalls the need to restore this history and its potential political spirituality was not part of the government institution. "The Iranian movement has not undergone revolutions this law which would, it seems, out in the blind enthusiasm, tyranny that already lived in secret. Spirituality which referred those who were going to die is incommensurate with the bloody government of a fundamentalist clergy. Iranian clerics want to authenticate their regime by the uprising had meanings. It is not something other than disqualifying the uprising because there was now a government of mullahs. There just need to emphasize that there has not reducible in such a movement. "[19] I would add non-reducible and non-manipulable, so enthusiastically knotted political spirituality.

This enthusiasm now seems to have found its way into the uncertainty of history, in fragile victories of Tunisians presented by many Westerners as losses and since the proclamation of the Tunisian Constitution, January 26, 2014, are silent . There has yet been there to get excited about in the manner of Kant. The Revolution is not only Western, insurrection may not be embodied in a religious government even when they appear to have taken power, the company can defend and be defended in an enthusiasm that makes it able to maintain its course. Foucault sought to identify "how the will of the Iranian people was one stubborn, efficient", "how the uprising of a whole society had stifled civil war". [20] We could recognize today that French Revolutionary yesterday and Tunisians today repeatedly managed this feat. Revolutionary adjacencies.

Intellectuals against theocracy?


by Farhad Khosrokhavar & Mohsen Mottaghi


On the one hand the traditional intellectuals, theologians and philosophers, religion and politics loosened to think the democratic functioning of their country and better specify and protect each of these areas. On the other hand, minority intellectuals, lawyers, journalists, activists, leave aside religious issues and mobilize the broader to affirm the dignity of everyday citizens in the name of social justice, equality between men and women , of Human Rights. Each other and in fact reject any theocratic regime.


The Iranian revolution did not only consequence the overthrow of the Shah and the establishment of a theocratic regime that is based directly on the Shiite version of Islam. She has contributed in its own way, to the secularization of religious and delegitimization of the theocratic system. The decline of communism, the end of the war (1988) and the death of Ayatollah Khomeini (1989) opened a new era. It is marked by the revolutionary disillusionment, loss of religious charisma of power and challenged the idealization of religion.

After the first decade of the Iranian revolution is emerging in the early 1990s, the phenomenon of post-Islamist intellectuals. [1] They claim, in the name of Islam, separation Islamist ideological motives and politics. This act, which calls into question the close links between the political and the sacred which is built on political Islam, is not a red herring, and is fully in the Islamic tradition [2]: c 'in the name of religion they intend to separate politics from religion, separation relying on the religious legitimacy and not a secular, independent conception of religion. They ask, in the name of Islam, the autonomy of the political sphere, to confine the first in its own domain (spirituality, the interiority of the believer, in Abdolkarim Soroush [3] and Mojtahed Shabestari [4]) and ensure the policy likely to be criticized and interpreted conflict, its only human and immanent function. The religious should be used only to establish the transcendental political legitimacy, its formal condition of possibility. They demand the demarcation of religion and politics from even internal to religion requirements for the believer's spiritual autonomy against the vicissitudes of politics and, in particular, face a theocratic conception which denies spiritual autonomy to life nun literally dissolving in politics. For these intellectuals, wanting to Islamize the policy was unduly politicized Islam by removing him his spirituality strength idealization. These intellectuals, from the Iranian revolution, gradually distancing themselves from mainstream politics and build a new approach to religion out with the theory of velayat-e faqih (the official doctrine of the Islamic Republic, based on the hegemony absolute Islamic Legal Adviser as it was embodied by Ayatollah Khomeini and then Ayatollah Khamenei). They challenge the legitimacy of the religious Shiite theocracy like Mohsen Kadivar which challenges its history showing that the hadith (the sayings of the Prophet), on which is founded the velayat-e faqih "weak" unreliable because of dating a late period. [5] Their express purpose is to promote religious version that warrants the opening of the political scene pluralism.

Theologians call for the demarcation of religion and politics for the believer's spiritual autonomy.
Several themes characterize this intellectual movement: a critique of religious power embodied in the Guide (rahbar); an approach to religion that makes it compatible with the pluralistic modernity; a conception of democracy that would leave room for religion, without that it justifies the legitimacy of power, if not metaphorically; participation, sometimes direct and conscious or unconscious, but also indirectly in the process of delegitimization of religious power, and the secularization of religious thought.


There are, of course, an elective affinity between these intellectuals but their approach is different according to their initial training or theoretical interests.

Soroush is based on the philosophical heritage of the West and a mystical version of Islam to challenge the politicization of religion, and conduct a review of the monopolization of power by the clergy. [6] Introducing a distinction between the sacred text and its interpretation, it opens a way for a challenge interpretations of the clergy without questioning the sanctity of the text and religion. According to him, scientific discoveries provide a new understanding of the sacred text and change the look of the believer's own religion. He explains that the Qur'an itself is silent [Samet] and that they are believers who, through their knowledge and experiences, interpret the text and do the talking.

In government, he resumed Popper's theory on the modern state and the critique of totalitarianism. According to him, the exercise of power, in its terms, is the science and technology and has nothing religious. A government based on Islam is only possible in a country with a Muslim majority. Although necessary, this condition is not sufficient, because the government is based on the right of citizens, and it is not religious. Islamic law as secular science can participate in discussions on the organization of society, but it can not stand as the sole source of law and it has no sanctity.


Soroush seeks to reconcile Islamic thought with the rationalist and liberal ideas from the West. Opposing political absolutism, it openly criticizes the power of velayat-e faqih and trying to defend a political system that would be neutral in religious matters.

In his early writings he supported the possibility of a religious democratic government able to use all means to the development of the country without intervening in the realm of belief and conviction. Such a government must keep its neutrality and can not force people to adhere to a religion, nor compel believers to lead them to paradise. Religious government is based on the only non-religious right of citizens: "Do not expect much difference in shape between the religious democratic government and other democratic forms of government. If, in the world of reasonable men, we walk on two feet, it is not possible to walk on the religious head. Where is the problem if other people come to the same conclusions as we do about the issue of government? ". [7]


The dilemma Soroush laboriously trying to overcome is the following: how to derive the democracy based on citizenship regardless of religious affiliation, religious vision where Islam is involved actively in theory and where citizenship is overdetermined by it I need regular. Turn sleight dialectic is that religious beings are rational beings and their behavior, in terms of social and political relations, is no different from that of other reasonable citizens in secular democracies. Therefore, a "religious civil society" will be like a short while civil society in terms of political and social relations. If this equivalence is valid, therefore why speak of "religious civil society" and not civil society? This view of things ignores the crucial issue of citizenship can not find a restriction on religious affiliation. But it is in this type of "sophistry" lies in a sense of "liberating" the vision of religious intellectuals such as Soroush dimension. They postulate that religion and reason are not citizens in contradiction and that by definition, politically, they must meet. This injunction does not answer the thorny question of the relationship between politics and religion in an Islamic perspective, but socially legitimate the position of the advocates of reform in the Iranian society. Practical dimension or pragmatic precedence over purely theological dimension or discursive.

If Soroush refers to the epistemology of science to question the sanctity of the texts produced by religious scholars, as a cleric Mojtahed Shabestari is inspired by the current philosophical and religious hermeneutics to support a plurality of readings of Islam and criticizes the "official version of religion." For him no understanding of religion can claim a sacred character, insofar as this common understanding is a human phenomenon.


For him, the challenge facing the Muslim world lies in its relation to democracy. The possibility of an Islamic democracy is a problem and the need for a democratic power is asserted. For Shabestari, democracy is neither Islamic nor anti-Islamic. It is only a form of government and a way of managing public and political space. It does not support an Islamic democracy but support democracy Muslims. Know a democracy based on freedom and equality, and that Muslims can live and practice their faith. It does not have to look in the Qur'an or the tradition premises of any democracy but rationally defend this form of government which opposes every form of totalitarianism and dictatorship any of any kind. "No religion prescribes a particular form of government, writes Shabestari. This rule also applies to Islam. The Prophet, as regards the mode of government, followed the rules of his time and did nothing was the founder of a specific form of power. What we find in the principles of inequality between believers and non-believers, men and women contained in the Koran, the tradition and the fatwas of Islamic jurists (foqaha) was related to the social and historical contexts of his time. It is quite open now think otherwise ". [8] It rejects any possibility of extracting the principles of the organization of the life of Muslims in using the sacred text or religious principles.

Montazeri defends religious political power based on reason.
Trained in theological schools, but influenced by his master Motazéri Mohsen Kadivar takes his side distance vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic criticizing the theory of velayat-e faqih as the only option to govern the country. In several of his books, he explains the different conceptions of the Islamic State, focuses on the existence of a plurality of conceptions of the Islamic state and shows the minority position of defenders of the theory of velayat-e faqih. Basing its approach on Shiite scholarly tradition as in political science, Kadivar opens a new path to internal criticism of the Islamic state without denying the role of religion in political life. Religious turban student of Grand Ayatollah Montazeri, Doctor of Political Science, he has all the qualities required to deal with the Iranian theorists absolute power.

It uses the plurality of interpretations of clerical power to challenge the official reading and defends political power based on reason. Its position on democracy enrolled at a crossroads: modern conception of power, it nevertheless retains the desire to preservethe religion while placing it in the public space. He refused an Islamic Republic butsupports the right and the ability of religion to propose broad society. Religion does not break with the policy but must ensure that laws do not conflict with religious principlesessential. This position separates advocates of political Islam, and it also differs fromsome religious intellectuals.

Finally Eshkevari, claiming the legacy of Shariati [9], is gradually out and supports a secular conception of political power. In his writings, he calls into question the divine origin of all political power and believes that God has delegated its authority to "mankind" and that man, as "Vicar of God", has the ability to exercise his power and authority collectively.Then he concludes that "Muslims have no choice but democracy as other forms ofgovernment have failed and, in practice, led to the decline."

Eshkevari present its analysis of the form of government in the following terms: "I personally think the government of the Prophet was not part of his mission. In other words,the exercise of political power does not give him the status of the Prophet. If he had not gone to Medina, he would still have made ​​his prophetic mission and filled all hisresponsibility. ""In the Koran, there are six thousand verses, of which only five hundreddeal with the practical requirements ... It is obvious that these five hundred verses are insufficient to handle very diverse contemporary societies" [10]. He argues that religious laws, specifically the social teachings of Islam, are related to the historical context of the birth of Islam and that no reason can be applied as shown in other historical contexts, geographical or cultural.

These religious scholars participate in their own way, a secularization of religious thought which takes a new twist in the post-revolutionary Iran. Can be broadly divided into two types of successive secularization in Iran from the second half of the twentieth century. In a first time observed a movement "détraditionnalise" by politicizing religion in the revolutionary sense (Shariati, Khomeini, Taleghani, etc. Motahhari. Were the protagonists). Politicization then acts as an operator of immanence, transcendence it breaks the traditional religious, opens a space where, in reference to "Muslim people", a new type of religiosity emerges and where the key concepts of Shiite Islam rally théocratiser for political and politicized religion. Religious categories laicized in a populist form when referring to people questioning the transcendent vision of religion.

In a second step, starts a new type of secularization, which corresponds to the progressive delegitimization of the Islamic theocracy and the outline of a new relationship between religion and politics, in continuity with the immanence inaugurated by first type of secularization. Here occurs the individualization of religious and theological dichotomy argued interiority of the believer and the political and social world. The two areas are declared immeasurable, managing sociopolitical now the people within the interiority of thinking spring religious spirituality, and heterogeneity between the two domains is marked by the inability to move from one to another private is the private life of the believer, the public place sharing a now secular power. This second secularization is anxious to introduce this heterogeneity to prevent the passage from one to the other.

For a decade, the essential question of intellectuals is political pluralism and pragmatic means of access.
For a decade, we have seen the advent of a new type of intellectual, much more modest, less prone to ideological vision, but wearing of human rights, ethical categories, but also international treaties Iran acceded to demand social justice, gender equality / women, and the rights of citizenship. This type of intellectual posture, to which women participate significantly, both qualitatively and quantitatively, does not adopt a role as vanguard among Iranian intellectuals (religious reformers included), but a point for "modest", seeking to begin to raise specific questions on well-defined issues, such as women's rights in divorce, child custody, or "right of blood" (a woman is legally the half the man regarding family rights, but also in cases of murder). These "intermediate intellectuals" [11] put under question the theocratic power from on high as a whole in reference to corruption, password-rights leaders, for Human Rights concerning the integrity of its rights civic, habeas corpus ... They have less ideological interests of Islam and secularism as to lay the foundations for political pluralism on the basis of concrete and trying to create a public opinion likely to mobilize to establish the foundations of a civil society. Thus women have launched a decade the "Campaign for One Million Signatures", demanding equal rights for women and men, caring little to affirm their secular or religious character and integrating all those and those who accept the principle of equality of men and women, Islamist or secular. Similarly, young journalists are the protagonists of an open society, without commenting on his religious nature. The key question now is political pluralism and pragmatic means of access, much more than the defense of an ideological, Islamic or secular perspective. This new type of intellectual recruits many of the bloggers, women and men, but also journalists, lawyers and advocates, breaking social and cultural homogeneity of traditional intellectuals. Number of young activists, including the Green Movement (June-July 2009 and the following years), who rallied to defend the citizen's dignity (karamat) advocate a non-violent vision and ignore issues of contention as the role of Islam in the city. Finally, this new type (including "intermediate intellectual" play an essential role, as Noushin Ahmadi Khorasani and lawyers Nasrin Sotoudeh, Bahareh Hedayat student activist, journalist and human rights activist Shiva Nazar Ahari man ...) is gradually replacing "religious intellectuals" who questioned the legitimacy of the velayat-e faqih but kept the essential features of the intellectual avant-garde: the primacy of theory, utopia, ideology. The Green Movement was, to a large extent, the training and exercise of these new players who have no major concern for global theoretical issues such as the role of Islam in the political field, but s' assign the task to affirm the dignity of the citizen and the citizen on a much more political than ethical in life everyday. The result is their flexibility, ease to avoid an abstract debate between religion and politics that may divide, and their determination to defend the moral principles of human rights that they claim they are all Islamic and secular. New social movements (the Tunisian revolution was one of the first illustrations) are the scene where exercising this new generation of actors, its primary target is the opening of the political system to recognize the rights of the citizen and the citizen. ■


Postscript
Farhad Khosrokhavar, a sociologist and director of studies at the EHESS, working on contemporary Iran, Islam and, in particular, radical Islam and the Arab revolutions. Mohsen Mottaghi, has a doctorate in sociology and his work focuses on Muslim intellectuals in Iran.

Video: We are all Majid Tavakoli


This video is a tribute to the political movement of spontaneous support. It was conducted by students and activists committed laity, humanistic and left, as suggested understand the song.




Majid Tavakoli has become an icon of the Green Movement and the struggle for gender equality in Iran. Young Iranian student activist active, he was arrested Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, following a demonstration at the University. To expose, then the authorities published his picture in the media, claiming that he was tricked women clothes to conceal his flight. Far from having the desired effect, the diffusion of the photo sparked a movement in solidarity with many users majide: men began immediately online their picture wearing the veil, and thwarting the regime's policy ridiculing turn.


Tavakoli was sentenced in January 2009 to eight and a half years in prison, including five for "gathering and conspiring against the regime", one for "propaganda against the regime", two for "insulting the Supreme Leader" and six months for "insulting to the president. "It also ECOPA 5 year ban on leaving the country.

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